tv PBS News Hour PBS October 29, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: after decades, china ends its controversial one-child policy. >> woodruff: also ahead this thursday, frontrunners relinquish the spotlight. highlights from the republican presidential debate. >> ifill: and, dozens of refugees still missing, after a boat capsized off the greek island of lesbos. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> and by bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. carnegie corporation of new york. a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: republican paul ryan became the 54th speaker of the house of representatives today.
he's 45, and was the party's vice presidential nominee in 2012. now, he faces perhaps his biggest test yet. >> mr. speaker, the speaker-elect, paul d. ryan of wisconsin. >> ifill: the bipartisan cheers, handshakes and hugs all made clear the new speaker is popular with republicans and democrats. and, after taking the gavel from democratic leader nancy pelosi, ryan called for healing. >> the house is broken. we're not solving problems. we're adding to them. and i am not interested in laying blame. we are not settling scores. we are wiping the slate clean. >> ifill: that drew a standing ovation, and ryan went on, pledging more transparency, something rebellious conservatives in his own party and democrats alike have demanded.
>> we need to let every member contribute, not once they've earned their stripes, but now. let people participate and they might change their mind. a neglected minority will gum up the works. a respected minority will work in good faith. >> ifill: the nine-term veteran, who until today chaired the tax-writing "ways and means" panel, said he wants committees to take the lead in drafting all major legislation. ryan ultimately agreed to run after demanding unified party backing. today, he came close, winning 236 of the 245 republican votes cast. the nine opposing him were conservatives who had helped force out speaker john boehner. today, boehner bade his own teary farewell, claiming credit for ending earmarks and passing a final two-year budget. his last day in congress is
saturday. >> i leave with no regrets, no burdens. if anything, i leave the way i started, just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job. that's what i'm most proud of. i'm still just me. real change takes time. yes, freedom makes all things possible. but patience is what makes all things real. so believe in the long, slow struggle. believe in this country's ability to meet her challenges and to lead the world. >> ifill: later, the quarter-century congressman listened as pelosi and ryan saluted his service, and then, he slipped out the back of the chamber. >> ifill: ryan's first major challenge will be passing spending bills to flesh out the two-year budget deal that passed the house yesterday. the deadline is early december. >> woodruff: the commanders of the u.s. and chinese navies met
face-to-face today -- via video conference -- on tensions in the south china sea. u.s. officials said they agreed to follow existing protocols to avoid clashes. on tuesday, a u.s. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a chinese-built island in a disputed area. the u.s. maintains the area is international waters. china warned today against any repeat. >> ifill: in vienna, austria, talks on the war in syria are getting under way, with uncertain prospects. secretary of state john kerry joined envoys from nearly 20 nations today, including, for the first time, a representative from iran. rebel groups were not invited. meanwhile, a syrian human rights group reported russian air strikes have killed 600, nearly a third of them, civilians. but in moscow, the russian foreign ministry rejected that claim. >> ( translated ): i want to stress that such insinuations, whoever they are coming from and
whoever shares them, they have nothing to do with reality. we see them as a part of that propaganda campaign to distort russian military actions in comparison to what we can honestly call failed efforts of the u.s.-led anti-islamic state coalition. >> ifill: the russians say their strikes are targeting islamic state and other jihadist groups. the u.s. says, in fact, the targets have mostly been rebels fighting the assad government. >> woodruff: israeli forces shot and killed two palestinians today in the west bank city of hebron. the israelis said both tried to stab soldiers. the incidents led to clashes in hebron between palestinian youths and israeli forces. it was another sign that a surge of violence in jerusalem is now spreading. >> ifill: a u.n. committee on international aviation standards has rejected a ban on shipping rechargeable batteries on passenger planes. that's despite evidence they're a fire hazard. it was widely reported today that the committee voted eleven- to-seven against a ban.
the u.s., along with pilots and plane manufacturers, favored the prohibition, the battery industry argued against it. >> woodruff: in economic news, deutsche bank announced big cuts to its work force, eliminating 35,000 jobs, mostly by selling some of its businesses. that follows heavy losses in the third quarter. germany's largest lender has had to pay heavy fines and legal settlements over rigging a benchmark interest rate. >> ifill: and u.s. growth hit the skids in the third quarter. it came in at 1.5%, less than half the number for the second quarter. that didn't do much for the mood on wall street. the dow jones industrial average lost 23 points to close below 17,756. the nasdaq fell 21 points, and the s&p 500 slipped a point. still to come on the newshour: china reverses its one-child policy. true or false. we fact check the republican debate. the search for migrant survivors
off the coast of greece. and much more. >> woodruff: now to a massive shift in china. earlier today, its ruling communist party announced a turn from its more than three-decades old restriction on the number of children couples can have. lucy watson of independent television news reports from beijing. >> reporter: china's one-child policy is changing, and the end of its brutal intrusion into family life. couples will now be allowed two children. for more than 35 years, the one-child rule has been enforced by punishing families. >> ( translated ): when they fired me for having a second baby, we were almost too poor to feed ourselves. we were beaten up for
campaigning for my daughter's life. but nobody would listen to us. >> reporter: this couple dared to have two daughters, two sisters eight years apart. one exists according to chinese law, the other does not, just because she came second. >> ( translated ): i was born in china. i'm chinese. but i have no rights. i couldn't go to school. i can't travel. i can't see a doctor. nothing in my life works. >> reporter: it was in 1979 that the legislation was introduced by deng xiaoping to avoid stifling economic growth. now a different demographic crisis looms. >> ( translated ): a labor shortage and a rapidly aging population caused by the policy undermine economic growth.
it's not always good if the birthrate stays low. we need a more balanced model. >> reporter: it could be too little too late in a country where the right to have and raise a child are still being manipulated. >> woodruff: joining me now to discuss the change is mei fong, a pulitzer prize-winning journalist with over a decade of experience covering asia. she's the author of the upcoming book, "one child: the story of china's most radical experiment." mei fong, welcome to the program. so just how significant a shift in policy is this for china's communist leadership? >> well, your segment mentioned too little too late, and that's really kind of what it is. for the past 15 years now, a lot of experts of demographics, economists have been asking for this change to happen. they've all warned of the aging tsunami that's going to happen. they've warned of the gender imbalances. but the chinese government has
been very, very slow to change it, so actually the question is not why it happened now but why has it taken so long to happen. >> woodruff: why do you think they decided now? we heard some of the reasons there, but what do you think has led them to do this now? >> it's a crisis that's affecting the economic growth of the future. right now there are about five working adults to support one retiree in china. that's a pretty good raisch york but in 20 years' time, that's going to be 1.6 working adults to oneledly retiree. that's a huge difference. and there's not going to be enough people to pay in for the pension imbalances and support an aging population that if it were its own country would be the third largest country in the world after china and india. >> woodruff: how representative, mei fong, is the story we just saw of that family? they had two daughters.
one daughter is basically a non-person. >> they call them black children because they don't exist. they're not people. it's estimated there are 13 to 15 million of these children, but not necessarily children. some of them are adults. but for all intents and purposes they just don't exist in china. they can't register to buy a house. they can't go to school. that girl that she interviewed, i spoke to her. she is 20 years old. she's in never been to school. she can't get so much as a library card because she has no registration rights. >> woodruff: will the government now make some sort of attempt to redress that because they're changing the policy? >> it will be very difficult because one of the big issues that they fear is places like beijing and shanghai, beijing and shanghai already have 18 to 20 million people, residents. they are very afraid of changing the household registration to enable everybody to have those rights because they fear the flood of people and there won't
be enough resources to service 20 million people in the city. so it's going to be very thorny. a lot of people have actually been suing to have these rights. this girl, for example, she has been spending the last three to four years trying to sue the government to give her those right, which legally she's entitled to but she's still not able to get it. >> woodruff: what difference is it thought this is going to make in china's... in the decisions families make. is it thought that many families will now decide to have a second child? >> it's doubtful. here's the thing, every country that's tried to put in place population control found it much more easier to turn off the baby tap, but when it comes time to turn on the baby tap, there's been virtually no country that's been able to succeed. singapore, for example, which china has emulated for many things, singapore tried to do something like this with a much less onerous kind of population planning policy, and now singapore is saying, please, please, have more children, and the singaporean women don't and
can't and won't, and i think china will face similar problems. you know, a couple years ago, they loosened the policy a little bit, but they found the take-up amongst people eligible to have a second child was very, very low. i think this will be more of the same. >> woodruff: well, we will certainly see. mei fong, who is coming out with a new book, "china's one-child policy." we thank you. >> thank you.ñi >> ifill: republican candidates took to the debate stage for the third time last night, this time in boulder, colorado. and by the time they were done, the chess pieces had shifted once again. >> ifill: the face off, on cnbc, was expected to focus on the economy, and for a time, it did. >> i'm not worried about my
finances, i'm worried about the finances of everyday americans who today are struggling in an economy that is not producing good paying jobs while everything else costs more. >> we're reducing taxes to 15%. we're bringing corporate taxes down, bringing money back in, corporate inversions. >> big government favors the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected, and crushes the small and the powerless. >> ifill: but with ten republicans crowded on stage-- four others debated separately-- it quickly became clear each was looking for a breakout moment. for floridians, jeb bush and marco rubio, it came when the former florida governor criticized rubio for skipping senate votes to campaign. >> marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work. i mean, literally, the senate-- what is it, like a french work week? you can campaign, or just resign and let someone else take the job. >> someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you. >> well, i've been-- >> here's the bottom line. (applause)
my campaign is going to be about the future of america, it's not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage. >> ifill: new jersey governor chris christie also took jabs at the now lagging bush-- after he'd answered a question about regulating fantasy football. >> are we really talking about getting government involved in fantasy football? (laughter) we have-- wait a second, we have $19 trillion in debt. we have people out of work. we have isis and al qaeda attacking us. and we're talking about fantasy football? can we stop? >> ifill: ohio governor john kasich lashed out at frontrunners trump and ben carson, suggesting neither is serious enough to be president. >> we're just gonna have a 10% tithe and that's how we're gonna fund the government? and we're going to just fix everything with waste, fraud, and abuse? or that we're just going to be great? or we're going to ship ten million americans-- or ten million people out of this country, leaving their children here in this country and dividing families? folks, we've got to wake up.
we cannot elect somebody that doesn't know how to do the job. >> he said, oh, i'm never going to attack. but then his poll numbers tanked. he has got-- that is why he is on the end. >> ifill: a running theme: candidates who came prepared to question the questioners. >> the questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the american people don't trust the media. (applause) this is not a cage match. how about talking about the substantive issues the people care about? >> i know the democrats have the ultimate superpac. it's called the mainstream media who every single day. john, do you want me to answer or do you want to answer? (laughter) how are we going to do this? (applause) because, i've got to tell you the truth, even in new jersey what you're doing is called rude. >> ifill: now, we take a deeper look at some of the candidates' claims last night, from medical
supplements, to gender and jobs, to spotty voting records. for that, we are joined by angie holan, editor of politifact, an independent fact-checking journalism website and a division of "the tampa bay times." angie, i want the plunge right in by talking first about dr. ben carson, who is currently in many polls leading the race. he was asked about his connection to a nutritional supplement company and this is what he said. >> there's a company that's a maker of nutritional supplements with which you had a ten-year relationship. they offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in texas, and yet your involvement continues. why? >> well, that's easy to answer: i didn't have an involvement with them. that's total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. total propaganda. i did a couple of speeches for them. i do speeches for other people. they were paid speeches. it is absolutely absurd to say that i have any kind of a relationship with them.
>> ifill: ben carson says that's total prop gann darks that question, angie. true, false or something in between? >> well, at politifact we rated this false. he said he had no involvement. well he said some paid speeches. we found the paid speeches. also he appeared in videos that the company created to promote their products.now, the companys controversial because in 2009 they settled a lawsuit about false claims, basically claims that their supplement could cure cancer. they settled that. now, whatever you think of the supplements, the company seemed to see carson as someone who promoted them. they featured him on their web site. they created these videos. >> ifill: he takes the product himself, he says. >> yes, he does, and speaks very highly of the product. and the company only took down these videos when the "wall street journal" started reporting about it and asking questions. so overall the claim that he didn't have an involvement with the company is false. >> ifill: let's go to one of the other maey claims made last night.
one is from carly fiorina, the former head of h.p. who doesn't miss an opportunity to go after hillary clinton on gender issues. let's listen to this. >> it is the height of hypocrisy for mrs. clinton to talk about being the first woman president when every single policy she espouses and every single policy of president obama has been demonstrably bad for women. 92%, 92% of the jobs lost during john barack obama's first term belonged to women. eiffel tiefl key number is that 92%. what is actually true, angie? >> this is a funny claim because we've heard it before in 2012 it was a talking point that mitt romney would use and the republican national committee. back then it was questionable. we rated it mostly false. but back then we also didn't have all the numbers yet for
obama's first term. now we do. what we found when we looked into the research was that there were a lot of job gains in 2012. the trend that romney identified actually reversed itself. so there were job gains for women during obama's first term, just over 400,000 jobs gained by women. so overall we rated this talking point false. >> ifill: was she just cher picking the right numbers? >> no, the numbers were wrong. once we had all four years of obama's first year, there were not job losses to be divided by gender. there were actually job gains. >> ifill: when you go back to the candidates and say, this is not true, what do they say? in this cates, what did she say? >> we didn't hear back from the fiorina campaign. she has been asked about some of her facts in follow-up interview, especially the television interviews, and she often just sticks to her points and doesn't back down. >> ifill: let's go on the senator rubio. we saw a bit of their disagreement about his voting
record, but let's listen to senator rubio's defense.ñi >> in 2004 john kerry ran for president, missing close to 60% to 70% of his votes. i don't recall the... in fact, the sun sent nell endorsed him inch 2008 barack obama missed 60% or 70% of hitsñi votes and e same newspaper endorsed him. this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and conservatives. >> ifill: the back story is his home state newspaper said he should quit the senate. >> we checked the numbers and he's right. the senators who were running for president, obama in 2008, kerry in 2004 and obama graham, the florida senator, they did have those absentee numbers in the ballpark that he mentioned. kerry's was worse than he mentioned. and he was also right that the "sun sentinel" did do those endorsements. now, the sun sentinel sayings
those aren't florida senators, you are. i should mention that rubio is not running for reelection in florida, but when we looked at the numbers about senators who run for president, they often have these high absentee rates. of the current field, rubio is leading. his absentee rate is about 34%. >> ifill: when you do these checks, there are a lot more on your web site and you go back to them, does it change behavior? do we get truer statements next time? >> it's interesting. we see the candidates react in a virt of ways. some of them don't change at all and just stick to their talking points. others do change, and i can't tell you that it's any particular political persuasion. it seems to be more the candidates themselves, if he or she thinks that accuracy is important. >> ifill: angie holan of politifact, thank you very much. >> ifill: we'll be checking in with politi-fact throughout the
campaign, as they examine speeches, ads and debates. next month, it will be the democrats' turn. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a new round of health care sign- ups, a new set of challenges. and a wandering author finds her way home. >> woodruff: the united nations refugee agency says 15 people drowned, and 38 more are missing and presumed dead, after a series of accidents involving traffickers' boats in the windy strait separating turkey from greek islands. in the worst incident, which we reported on last night, a boat carrying an estimated 300 people capsized. of those, more than 240 were saved and brought to the island of lesbos. as special correspondent malcolm brabant reports, many of the rescued are grateful to be
alive, but also angry. >> reporter: emotionally fraught from losing his daughter at sea, this man from mosul in iraq, lashes out at a fellow survivor. he's the one that drove the both that sunk. you all attest to that and you all know him. u.n. refugee agency officials intervene and off camera say the allegation is likely to be unfair, because the smugglers usually appoint a refugee to steer the vessel. the iraqi, who left mosul to escape the so called islamic state, went to the police to press his claims. the accused man was briefly questioned, and later released. survivors, camped out in the port of molyvos exuded relief, exhaustion and trauma. not yet old enough to grasp the miraculous nature of their deliverance, children slept or played. but this mother was shocked into
virtual silence, as family reunification teams tried to elicit details about her missing child. accountant anas khaoula, from damascus, said the boat was old and badly modified with an extra deck, that broke away under the strain of the waves and overcrowding. >> i think three hours or more than three hours i think before they came to collect us. and there were so many babies, some of them dead, because of the cold of the water, and the others drowned in the cold. and some of them don't know how to swim. and there were a lot of children, women. the survivors lined up on the dockside to give their details to officials trying to collate
lists of those who made it, and those who did not. the u.n. refugee agency protested that people were dying unnecessarily and called for more search and rescue resources. field worker, andrew knight. >> this is one of the worst incidents that we had in recent times in memory, in fact. tons of people lost at sea, just some of the most awful stories, families, people still looking for members of their families. it's absolutely awful, absolutely awful. >> reporter: the traffickers have adopted a new tactic, increasing the price of a ticket on a wooden boat to more than $2,500. greek american volunteer aphrodite vati mariola, was careful to condemn the trade on the criminals, not ordinary turks. >> there's no respect for human life whatsoever in my opinion. just send them away and whatever will happen will happen. >> reporter: on this beach, soaking wet youngsters, pulled from the waves, were given
lollypops to comfort them after their crossing. in the water, almost every day, briton philippa kempson >> the last couple weeks, and it's increased the last day. we had a huge metal boat with maybe 300 people on board. while it was further out from the shore from this one, and it took a lot of work to get them off, but again they were all safe. i think they're just using anything and everything to get the amount of people across. i don't know how many people are waiting, but they are using every boat they can find now. >> reporter: if this new tactic continues, the beaches of lesbos are going to littered with un- seaworthy wrecks, as well as the remains of treacherous inflatables. >> reporter: the traffickers are weaving dreams, that for most of their passengers will be unattainable. they are sending innocent people to their deaths, they are creating chaos in europe, and possibly undermining the european union, all the while, making a fortune. for the pbs newshour, this is malcolm brabant in lesbos.
>> ifill: you can find a different look at the refugee crisis, online. syrian photographer nour nouralla was visiting berlin and captured a rally to support incoming refugees. take a look at her photos on our website, pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: this summer marks the open enrollment of the marketplaces created as part of the affordable care act. this summerñ have gotten coverage through state and federal exchanges under obamacare. millions more were newly covered through medicaid. heading into the new season, there are a number of questions and concerns people are asking about costs, coverage and penalties. we're going to spend the next couple nights looking at those. mary agnes carey of kaiser
health news is back with us again. mary agnes, welcome. >> thank you. >> woodruff: let's start out by talking about what the administration's challenge is here. how many people out there are eligible but have not yet signed up for obamacare? >> the administration says that about 10.5 million people who are eligible to enroll in the exchanges, and they're hoping to enroll about one in four of those. this is going to be a tough group to go after. maybe they're confused about the health care law. they may not understand how it works or that they need to have coverage, so they need to have a very aggressive outreach for this enrollment period. >> woodruff: let's look at one of those people who present a challenge. this is a woman, her name is angela dennig. she lives near miami in margate, florida. she decided not to sign up for coverage last year. she said she was willing to pay the penalty. she'd rather do that. she ended up having a health scare, and she's trying to decide what to do now. let's listen. >> when the open enrollment was
in 2013, i went online to explore my options, and when i plugged in my specific factors and my situation, i didn't qualify for the subsidy. so what it offered me was coverage through independent agencies, and the premiums were significantly expensive, something that was not in my budget. so at that point i had to decide that i couldn't afford medical insurance. full-time employment, i pay my taxes, pay my bills, i live by the letter of the law, and the letter of the law said that year that even though i couldn't afford medical coverage, i was required to pay this penalty, and i kid. and it hurt. >> woodruff: mary agnes, what does the administration do to appeal to win over people like this who, it's not just a matter of persuading them. it sounds like she genuinely has an issue with the cost. >> what they're asking people to do is to come back to the marketplace this year, to look again to, shop again. the hope is in some markets, perhaps in her market, there are
more choices that will be affordable to her. and they also emphasize the penalty. we have to remember, for example, the first year was $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is greater. that whichever is greater part really surprised people. for 2016, that goes to $695 or 2.5% of income. so while the administration is emphasizing they want people to shop on on the exchange, they want to make it clear you must have coverage unless you need a hardship exemption and other exception, and there is a penalty if you don't sign up. >> woodruff: people have to focus on this. they have to go online to get that information. >> exactly. >> woodruff: let's look at another situation. this is a man named glen alder who lives in redwood city, california. he bought private insurance. he decided for him that was the smarter thing to do rather than the federal coverage. but he has found the cost of premium, co-pay, deductibles are also rising. let's listen to him. >> before obamacare my insurance
had a fairly low deductible, had reasonable co-pay amounts and the premiums were at about the same level that they are now. at that point in time, we had a family deductible of $3,500, once we fulfilled that deductible, there were no additional payments required from the policy. nowadays the deducteddables are in the order of $10,000 for a family. every year i see the rates increasing in terms of premiums. the deductibles are going up. and the copayments are going up. and out of pocket is costing more and more for a family at a much more rapid rate than the rate of inflation. >> woodruff: so, mary agnes, what does the administration say? >> they understand the frustration about affordable. and they're trying to make it clear that it's not just about your premium, it's your deductible, it's your copayment,
it's this combined package of expenses that everyone faces. chances are his health plan, he lives in california, they all had to sort of rise to the level of the plans that the affordable care act had certain coverages they wanted covered, so that's probably why his plan is more expensive, but consumers have to look at the total package. this is where the frustration comes in because that out-of-pocket expense, your deductibles, your coinsurance, your co-pays are all in addition to those premiums. >> woodruff: and this is of course the case with people who bought into obamacare, people tonsil very plan, for example, they're having to look at rising costs, as well. >> exactly. the silver plan is the second most... that's what they call the benchmark plan. that's what all the subsidies are tied. to you see increases. oklahoma, for example, an average increase of 36%. in indiana there is a decrease of 13%. but the thing that's important to understand is that even within a state, even within a region prices can vary. that's why it's important even if you like your current plan, you should get on healthcare.gov
or go to a local in-person sister or broker or insurance agent and look at what you options are to see if you can make a change that's more affordable for you if you need to do that. > woodruff: so how much tweaking is the administration able to do and stay within the law. >> what do you mean in terms of tweaking? >> woodruff: making adjustments for people like this. as they go along, they're finding there are some challenges they didn't recognize originally. >> sure. they can do a variety of things. they're trying to increase the number of competitors in the marketplace that. can certainly help with consumers. they're trying to make the web site faster and easier so when people go on the site, some of the frustrations and the screen crashes and so on won't be there now. they're trying to make it as clear as possible for people to type in their information and see their benefits and see their potential coverages right there. what does this premium cost? what's my out-of-pocket cost. what's the total package. you can rank them from cheapest to most expensive to simply make
it easier for you to find out what's out there. >> woodruff: how confident is the administration they're going to get people the sign up? >> they're expecting of that 10.5 million they can get one in four. they know some people may not be aware of it, they don't want to enroll in it, they won't do that. some people may make the same calculation as angela did, that it's too expensive for her, but they're trying to go to those people who so far have said no and do an aggressive outreach and at least make them aware of what's out there and what their options are. >> woodruff: mary agnes carey, we'll continue this investigation tomorrow night with more questions as we move into and approach the third enrollment period for obamacare. thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: now, a tax break that is coming under fire, one used by hedge funds and money
managers. controversial because of the way profits are taxed at a much lower rate. our economics correspondent, paul solman, explores what it's all about. part of our weekly series, "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> hey, hedge fund billionaires, pay your fair share! >> reporter: the hedge clippers, an activist group targeting hedge fund billionaires and especially, their tax breaks. in the past few months, the clippers have been taking their tools to their targets' backyards. like their march field trip to greenwich, connecticut. >> pay your taxes, hedge funds. pay your taxes, billionaires. >> reporter: their july jaunt to the hamptons summertime playground of the 0.1%. >> we can see your greedy side. >> reporter: and earlier this month, to the midtown manhattan headquarters of bloomberg, where a conference was taking place to, quote, "celebrate the leaders and innovators who shape
economies." >> pay your fair share. >> reporter: but not in a good way, say the clippers. >> these are the same hedge funds that foreclose our homes. >> reporter: and what's especially galling, says protest leader charles khan, is that hedge fund managers and private equity firms get a special tax break to do so. >> these are the same hedge funds that drive down our wages. >> they're paying less taxes than kindergarten teachers, firefighters, truck drivers, secretaries... >> reporter: because of what's known as the "carried interest" loophole. >> the term originated from ship captains getting a 20% commission on the things they carried, so it's called the carried interest. >> reporter: morris pearl's no hedge clipper, but he's a kindred soul, having retired early from the wall st. behemoth blackrock to run "the patriotic millionaires," a group that's pushing to end tax breaks for those who have amassed money, or just inherited it. >> i don't see why i should be paying tax at a lower rate than
other people because i happen to have the good fortune of being, uh, frankly, being wealthy enough to live off my investments instead of having to work. >> reporter: that's because the top income tax rate is almost 40% for all earned household income above about $450,000. but the top tax rate on long-term capital gains-- the profits from sales of investments like stocks or real estate, owned for more than a year-- is only 20%. and here's the rub: the people who manage those investments also get the capital gains tax rate, because of their supposed "carried interest." >> the carried interest loophole is the most egregious example of unfairness that i've seen. >> reporter: egregious, pearl thinks because, despite the argument made by this private equity video, money managers aren't "risking" anything. but, because they form so-called "partnerships" with their investors, they get to cut their tax bill in half by reporting
their share of profits as a "carried interest" capital gain. the industry's rationale? the managers are investing something: their "effort." >> the private equity firm contributes "sweat equity" by forming the investment fund, identifying the companies to buy and applying expertise to improve the purchased companies over time. when the private equity firm sells a company, its limited partners receive their initial investment plus 80% of the profits thereafter. the remaining 20% of the profits goes to the private equity firm. this is called a carried interest. >> reporter: but according to patriotic millionaire whitney tilson, money managers like him already take whopping fees. and the share of profits is really no different. >> i'm just taking a 20% bonus. it's just like the shoe salesman at nordstrom's getting a bonus at the end of the year. so, why should i be paying a much lower tax rate than an average guy earning a bonus? it makes no sense. >> reporter: fellow hedge funder jim chanos puts it more
colloquially: >> it's complete baloney. economically, i can tell you as someone in the industry, there is no basis for it. >> reporter: but the private equity industry says, "we streamline businesses, we reorganize them, we make them more productive. so, you want to tax us at a low rate in order to facilitate our rebuilding of corporate america". >> and that's fine, that's great if it happens. but if you earn a fee for doing that, that's actually ordinary income. >> it's not ordinary income and it shouldn't be taxed that way. >> reporter: after all, argues ryan ellis of grover norquist's americans for tax reform, this is all perfectly legal. >> under our system of partnership law, you do not have to invest money personally in order to derive a capital gain from the partnership.
we want partnerships to develop. we want for this for this successful relationship to happen and treat capital gains as they're supposed to be treated, capital gains. >> let's say you have two people that want to buy a restaurant, and one of them is a brilliant chef and he'll make the restaurant work, but he has no money to invest. and then you have a money investor, they go 50-50 on this restaurant. they eventually sell the restaurant. are you telling me the brilliant chef should not benefit from the capital gain? that he should pay ordinary income tax on that, that he put nothing into it? >> reporter: but morris pearl doesn't buy the sweat equity argument. >> i don't see any reason why this small group of people, who happen to be hedge fund managers, should pay lower tax on their labor than everyone else pays. >> reporter: pearl is sure partnership law wasn't written to be exploited by money managers. and in fact there's a bill now in congress to exclude carried interest as capital gains. that has the staunchly anti-tax
ryan ellis worried: that it will embolden tax hikers to go after the capital gains tax break next, and who knows what else. >> this is the camel's nose under the tent, this is the tip of the spear, this is the trojan horse, whatever metaphor you want to use, that's what actually going on here. they're saying for you and only you we're going to raise your taxes. it's pinning americans against each other. that's absolute class warfare. >> we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires. >> and on the campaign trail this fall, the camel has sounded surprisingly bipartisan. bernie sanders and hillary clinton are against the carried interest tax break, of course. but even some republicans have spears in their tax plans. >> the hedge fund guys won't like me as much as they like me right now. i know them all, but they'll pay more. i know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and
paying virtually no tax, and i think it's unfair. >> reporter: so, is the carried interest tax break toast? >> i think at best, 50-50 chance that anything changes in the next couple of years. the problem is-- >> anybody with any sense should argue that it doesn't exist and yet it hangs on. >> which is why the hedge clippers will probably be back in connecticut again before long. this is economics correspondent paul solman reporting for the pbs "newshour" from the front in the war over the carried interest tax break. >> woodruff: now, the latest
addition to the newshour bookshelf, reflections on a lifelong search to belong. writer sandra cisneros chronicles her pursuit in "a house of my own: stories from my life." she sat down to talk with jeffrey brown recently at the mexican cultural institute here in washington. >> brown: sandra cisneros, welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: so this is an unusual kind of memoir. you've gathered up old writings, and then you ask yourself, as you say in the introduction, who wrote these and why? i have a need to know so i can understand my life. >> well, i was trying to gather my essays from b.c., before computers. >> brown: before computers. >> yeah, because i lose things and i write things and they disappear from my desk, my life. i move a lot. i wanted to gather them and put them under one roof, under one cover so i could document my life in a series of snapshots. >> brown: what did you see when you looked back?
did you recognize that person? >> yes and. no i saw someone who was very innocent and trusting and believed everything family told her. i'm a little more suspicious now. and like everyone, i change my mind. >> brown: you come from a conservative mexican-american family in chicago. it's interesting that so many of these stories do involve travels and leaving, and yet the main theme and even in the title "house,," "home." >> well, when you're an immigrant writer or an immigrant, you're not always welcome to this country unless you're the right immigrant. if you have a mexican accent, people look at you like, where do you come from and why don't you go back to where you came from. even though i was born in the united states, i never felt at home in the united states. i never felt at home until i moved to the southwest where, you know, there's a mix of my culture with the u.s. culture,
and that was why i lived in texas for 25 years. >> brown: that unsettledness comes through in these essays, these polaroids that you talk acted. you're crossing borders, you're living in different homes that aren't quite home. >> that's right. that's right. and it was only when i arrived on a landscape in the southwest with the big skies, like in the old black-and-white mexican movies that i felt, this feels like home. when i heard spanish alongside english that i said, this feels like home, and even now i live in a town where you hear english as much as spanish. >> brown: i want to come back the that, but first, i want to ask you about the original house of your writing career, the house on mango street, which sort of set you on your way, right? did it also define and confine you? >> you know, people know me from my first book, but i don't mind that. that's my child. that's my first-born child.
and i've written many other books since then, and people love my first-born child, but it's been around on the planet longer than others, so people have had more time to work with that one. and i don't feel restricted or constricted with that book. i feel as if it's my eldest child and he went to work and is earning money for his mom, and that's perfectly fine, so i can take care of the other kids. >> brown: that's a good child to have. >> it's a good child. >> brown: you're also very candid about traumas along the way, depression, evenñi after te great success of the house on mango street. so it was not an easy road. >> no. people think that house was an overnight success, that that night was a ten-year night. along the way. >> a lot of doubts and sadnesses. i didn't have things that other people have.
i didn't have the house or the car that other people have. there were doubts if i was making the right choices. i didn't marry or have children. i followed the food supply for jobs. i kept writing at night. that kept me moving. it kept my life disruptive. it broke up many relationships. was it worth it? yes. >> brown: that's actually what... that's the totality of your documents, the life of a writer or the writer that you became. >> i didn't intend to be writing writer's life. i was just writing what came to me at the time, but it is a map of how this writer had to break many barriers to find not a room of her own but a house of her own. brown brown and where did that ambition come from to make a life as a writer? >> i think i didn't know what i was creating as much as i knew what i didn't want to do, and i didn't want my mother's life. she was an unhappy, frustrated
artist who always dreamed of the life that was never going to be hers. i didn't want to be married with seven kids and wish, oh, if only i had done this. i didn't want that. so my dream was to mother a book. that was first and foremost since i was 11 years old. and i just didn't know how to do that. no one in my family had any connections or a clue of how to do that, so i just kind of fumbled my way through it. >> and now you are in mexico. will living a writer's life in mexico but crossing the border back. >> yeah, well, my ancestors were from there, 100 years ago they fled in the 1915, during the rohingya. -- rohingya. 100 years later i meandered back. i like to think they called me back. i like to think my entire life was leading up to this moment of
me moving back and being reborn. because it's kind of like a rebirth to be back there and walking the streets that possibly my ancestors walked. it's great. >> brown: all right. the new book is "a house of my own: stories from my life." sandra cisneros, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: now to our newshour shares, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too. local pbs station wgbh boston found this doctor, on the street, showing his moves to raise money for charity. >> reporter: he's not exactly micheal jackson, or even tito. but dr. adnan khera has the moves that draw a crowd every where he goes. he's an anesthesiologist at tufts medical center, and a dancing sensation.
we followed dr. khera to the middle of downtown crossing, where he set up shop to dance for charity. >> what i want to do is spread the idea that individuals can make a difference and it's basically through embracing something they're passionate about. >> reporter: how did you come up with the idea? >> the idea came up when i was visiting barcelona. there's a huge street performance culture in barcelona, and i got a lot of ideas in my head. >> reporter: part of his big idea? a white coat, a boom box and a sign. ♪ how much did you raise the first time you danced? >> the first time i raised $245. >> reporter: $245 has grown to about $12,000 since may. he's given to dozens of charities.
>> reporter: there's no question about doctor khera's commitment or stamina. he "boogied" for two hours straight while we were there. and does it several times a week. >> i think he's looking good. you know what i mean-dripping some sweat that's never a bad thing. >> reporter: the money poured in and some were even inspired to get into the groove. >> why not? dancing's fun. he looks like he's having fun, i went to give him a dollar donation so i just couldn't help myself. >> reporter: whether people gave, danced or just watched it's clear they noticed. >> a lot of people come up to me and just tell me i'm doing a great job and doing the community a huge service. and that goes a long way. you can watch more of our "newshour shares" on our website, pbs.org/newshour >> woodruff: on the newshour online, visitors to new york city may be familiar with the popular "high line," an elevated
park built from an old rail line. well get ready for the "low line," an underground park that's being built in an old trolley station. the park's co-founders are also building a garden inside the space, using a system that collects sunlight from the exterior. the park is slated to open in 2020, but we visited a prototype recently. read the story on our home page, pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> announcer: this is "nightly business report," with tyler mathisen and sue herera. blockbuster deal. two massive drug companies are work on what could be the biggest acquisition of the year. anemic growth. what caused the economy to hit the brakes and slow considerably in the third quarter. new way to invest. why ordinary people may soon be able to fund projects that were once out of reach and get a share of the profits. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday october 29th. good evening, sxenks thanks for joining us. it could be a deal like no other. pfizer and allergan are in early talks to merge. the combined company would create the world's largest drugmaker. shares of both companies rose today, allergan gaining nearly 6%, as you see there, though